A recent study conducted by researchers in NUI Galway has revealed that around 70% of female students in third level education experience sexual hostility or crude gender harassment at some point during their time in third level education.
The results of the study, collated from the experiences of some 3,500 students throughout four colleges nationally in consent workshops was published today by Minister of State for Education and Skills, Mary Mitchell O'Connor. The study also revealed that some 40% of men at some point similarly experienced crude gender harassment or sexual hostility during their college education.
In these workshops the same proportion of women, and around 60% of the men involved, said that sexual education in secondary schools in Ireland was woefully unsatisfactory and was, at least in part, a contributing factor to the prevalence of toxic sexual attitudes in universities. LGBTQ students involved in the same workshops reported even greater levels of dissatisfaction with their sexual education in secondary school.
The research has been conducted by the SMART research team at NUIG who have been organising and running consent workshops in third level institutions throughout the country since 2014. The acronym ostensibly stands for Sexual orientation and gender, state of Mind, Activity, Relationship and Talking or non-verbal signs and signals.
This is a damning indictment both of the terribly inept standards of sexual education that still exist in Irish schools - which, thankfully the government has pledged to redress - and the ignorant and often toxic ideas around sex and sexuality that this paucity of adequate education necessarily engenders.
H/T: The Irish Times